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Search for Green not yet rescheduled

Large-scale effort involving Summit County crews postponed

Jack Weinstein

— A decision about when to reschedule an extensive search for Rebecca Green, the Steamboat Springs woman who has been missing since she fell into Fish Creek on June 13, has not been reached, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said Sunday.

Wall canceled a large-scale search scheduled for today that would have involved Summit County Water Rescue, in addition to Routt County Search and Rescue members. He said the creek’s water level is the same as it was two weeks ago when Summit County crews assisted Routt County’s search team.

“This is a very troublesome thing for us,” Wall said. “It’s emotional – a local person gone. It was a very difficult decision to call off the search (today). For such a small degree of success, we don’t want to risk any more lives.”

The Sheriff’s Office oversees Routt County Search and Rescue, but Wall does not typically have input in Search and Rescue’s day-to-day operations. However, the decision to postpone today’s efforts ultimately was his responsibility, he said.

Green, 40, and her 8-year-old son Kade fell into Fish Creek below the upper falls June 13. Kade pulled himself from the creek after grabbing a branch and was treated for minor injuries.

Search and Rescue member Jim Linville said a more extensive search initially was scheduled for today because Fish Creek’s 30-year water level average indicated it might be low enough to safely search the area. But that’s not the case this year, with continued run off from snowmelt and recent rain, he said.

“A lot of people in the community want and need closure on this, and so do we,” he said. “But ultimately, safety is our No. 1 concern. We hope friends of the Green family will support us. It was a hard decision.”

Linville said two-, three- and as many as five-person teams searched for Green in the upper falls area every other day for the past two weeks. He said that would continue sporadically until the larger search effort is rescheduled.

Such an extensive search was unusual and something Search and Rescue wasn’t used to, Linville said, but they’ll continue to keep an eye on water levels.

Like Search and Rescue, Wall said he’ll go up to Fish Creek every day this week to continue the search on his own, as he did last week.

Wall said that the Sheriff’s Office posted signs to alert visitors of Fish Creek what happened to Green. Should anyone see anything, he reminded that they should call 911 immediately instead of initiating a recovery effort of their own.

He said the large rescue effort that includes Summit County crews could be rescheduled next week, but it all depends on the water level.

“Maybe sooner than that,” he said. “I just don’t know.”


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